Lately I’ve been blocked four times when clicking on links elsewhere that were for Christian reports, exposing the actions of false teachers or similar issues. I’m posting this to the blog in case it becomes more of a problem.
My anti-virus program (running on my own computer, not just in the browser) is Sunbelt Vipre, which I consider to be a very good commercial program. I got fed up with Norton and Kaspersky taking over my computer! Vipre has been a really good product so far, and I’ve never had any problems accessing sites. This year however, I’ve been blocked four times, and I have found that other people have suffered the same problems.
When I click to follow a reliable link given to me by a friend, to a page of interest – not a scam site or random search result – I get a blank page with this warning:
VIPRE has determined that the site
you are trying to visit contains
potentially harmful or objectionable content.
The first two times I put it down to a mistake, a false alarm, although I knew there was nothing objectionable (to a Christian at least) on those sites. So I do not have those URLs. But the next two I made a note of:
- http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/movies/commentaries/2011/crazybizarre.html (Christianity Today Magazine) Documentary exposing Todd Bentley
- http://firstplumbline.net/html/spiritoflifelab.html (Plumbline Apologetics) Manchester Cathedral Layrinth
The Vipre blocking page (seen above) does not allow me to access the page or the website in any way. I would have to open my anti-virus program, find the web blocking menu, and manually add the website address as an “exception” to allow access. Although it can be done, it’s laborious and annoying.
But why are these sites blocked in the first place? Sometimes websites run adverts on their pages (especially those horrible freebie pages) but in that case Vipre ONLY blocks the ADVERT, not the whole page.
It seems to me that people are targetting certain Christian sites and submitting them to anti-virus companies as “objectionable”, and for all I know, my own website might end up in the same category. This kind of opposition is a very far cry indeed from genuine Christian debate and discussion over various doctrinal issues.
On a forum I found this comment:
It appears there is a concerted effort by some VIPRE users (or perhaps a Sunbelt employee?) to block conservative news sites. A month ago I reported a false block against “World Net Daily” (wnd.com). Now I just discovered another one: http://cnsnews.com/
I understand that Sunbelt has to deal with thousands of “bad” site submissions, but I’m beginning to question the of quality of your internal review process that can allow MAJOR news websites (Wnd.com and Cnsnews.com are not some person’s personal blog sites) to be listed as malicious sites.
I have already submitted this as an erroneous “block”, but I think Sunbelt needs an internal review to determine why these sites are getting into VIPRE’s block lists. Since installing VIPRE Premium, I’ve only encountered two blocked sites and both have been legitimate news sites with a conservative perspective. I don’t think it’s a coincidence.
Okay, it’s just a minor irritation. Nonetheless it could be the thin end of a wedge. Please report here if the same thing is happening to you!